Redwood Materials, the company started by former Tesla co-founder JB Straubel, which aims to create a circular supply chain for batteries, is expanding its business. While it is primarily known as a recycling firm, Redwood plans to simplify the supply chain by producing the critical battery material right here in the US.
To get there, the company is currently looking for a location for a new million-square-foot factory at a cost of more than $1 billion, Bloomberg told. That factory will be dedicated to the production of cathode and anode foils, the two essential building blocks of lithium-ion battery structure – materials for an estimated amount of 100 gigawatt-hours per year, enough for one million electric vehicles, by 2025.
but that’s not all. By 2030, the company expects to increase its annual battery material production to 500 GWh, enough to power five million electric vehicles.
These numbers are incredibly ambitious. If Redwood can pull this off, it will put itself in the ranks of the world’s biggest content giants, many of which are based in Asia. BloombergNEF estimated that in the United States, strengthening the cathode supply chain and using a certain percentage of recycled materials could cut emissions from battery-pack production by 41%.
Recycling alone will not lead the company to such production numbers, although Redwood plans to expand its recycling operations as well. Instead, the company said in a statement that it would produce the anode and cathode from both recycled batteries and “sustainably mined materials.” For now, the company is silent on its partners for this new endeavor, but it will mean more announcements of partnerships and expansion in the future.
This is only the latest bold move from the company, which has been taking steps to aggressively expand its footprint for months. Earlier this summer, Redwood said it would triple the size of its 150,000-square-foot recycling facility in Carson City, Nevada, and it also added 100 acres near Tesla and Panasonic’s Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada. Bought it. The news is also fresh on the heels of a $700 million Series C funding round from major investors including Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Bailey Gifford and Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Capital valued Redwood at $3.7 billion.
The company has inked recycling deals with Tesla, Amazon, electric bus maker Protera and electric bike maker Specialized Bicycle Components. Redwood says it can recover 95-95% of critical materials from recycled batteries such as lithium, copper, nickel and cobalt.